I’m on my period, Inauguration Edition

Yesterday was full of…what’s the opposite of irony? Is irony too nebulous a concept to have an opposite? Well, yesterday was a little on-the-nose for me, in terms of the inauguration and its surrounding activities.

Yesterday at work we had to pull in some members of the larger team to help with some work our auxiliary team had. Most of this involved stuffing thousands of envelopes, an activity you will be surprised to find out some people don’t really know how to do. To be fair, it’s slightly more involved than just putting paper in an envelope because this is *~*~GoOgLe~*~* but not by a lot. Long story short, I ended up having to deal with training, organization, and direction above my pay grade, as I get paid less than the other two people on the team. Anyhow, to get to the point:

One of the auxiliary team members we grabbed was – surprise, surprise! – a mediocre, straight, wealthy white dude! Do you see where this is going? He put on the inauguration (to make fun of, no less) as we were stuffing envelopes, and the comparison was laughable. He stared intently into his computer screen, hands idle, while poorer, browner, gayer, and womanly-er people diligently stuffed envelopes around him, for literal hours. I was put in charge of a few people, who were all finished before everyone else (#HBIC), but not of him, so I didn’t feel comfortable telling him to get back to work – and the person who was in charge of him wasn’t doing anything. So, to spell it our for you dummies, while the rest of us did our work industriously, the one whitest, wealthiest white guy in the room sat around and watched the whitest, wealthiest white guy in the room get recognized for the most powerful position in the world (while I silently suffered from burning menstrual cramps, let me remind you). Also, he used sexist language and made fun of me when I called him out. This is a self-proclaimed male ally. GOD FUCKING DAMMIT!

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Shall we continue our on-the-nose journey?

Today is the women’s march, and I had planned to attend. But come on! I’m on my period, and the only tampons I have are the ones that you have to stuff up yourself like you’re in the goddamned Stone Age because those were the only ones they had in Slovenia, and I used my last good one last period. Like, I know you were Yugoslavia like five minutes ago, but get with the fucking picture!

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ProComfort my fucking ass – or should I say my vag.

But then again, statistically, 20 to 25 percent of the people in this march will be on their period (unless, of course, all those people decide to stay home). Why the fuck should I have to walk with no bathroom for five hours to protest the removal of my own rights while millions of men stay home on their comfy couches? I guess that’s the whole thing. STUPID IRONY!

I can’t be funny right now, y’all. My sense of humor is exiting my body with gusto in clumps of blood through my vag-hole. How about you make me laugh?!

Post Office

One of the reasons I know I need to quit my job is that my new responsibilities require me to go to the post office, a place where hopes and dreams go to die and where elderly women go to cough freely without covering their mouths, every. single. day. Not everybody who reads this lives in New York, but everybody who lives in New York knows that every post office in New York is literal hell on earth. Except for this bar, which is inexplicably also called Post Office – confusing on Yelp for residents who need to send a package with haste, but great for precious Williamsburg bullshit!

That shit is dumb as hell – like why would you name a bar “The Library?” Don’t fill me with anticipation over a library, which is my favorite place on earth (have I written a post about how fucking amazing libraries are? I literally can’t get over it), and then kill all my dreams with a bar.

I know that’s not just a New York thing, but I just feel like hating on New York right now. What else is new?

Actually, here is something new: somehow, in twenty-four years, nine of which included a music festival of one sort or another, I’ve never had the misfortune to see white people dreadlocks up close, until last night. Thank fake Jesus there was a somewhat cute baby nearby to draw my eye, because holy shit! It was like one of those TV shows where they show you real surgery and you seriously want to look away but you can’t – it was the stuff of nightmares.

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What I am learning with the quality (see: lack there of) of this post is that I need to obtain more caffeine prior to writing.

Try My Ideas (TMI)

Why the actual fuck did I stay up until 3 AM the past two nights? My literal nightmare.

My preference is to be in bed at eleven, reading my book or knitting while watching The Wire, every night of the week. And yet I had to go and get myself invited to a goddamn party. What am I doing wrong?

I have, however, had some time to reflect and immerse myself in gratitude for my current state of mind – despite some unfortunate side effects, my anxiety has been reduced by Lexapro. The difference is noticeable, and not existing in a constant state of tension has made life so much more bearable. I can glean humor out of the frustration of living in this city. I can complain sardonically instead of holding all my fear and panic inside. My mom always said that if she heard me complain, she knew I was fine. It was when there was something really wrong that I wouldn’t say anything.

For much of the summer I was afraid to eat because I would have stomach aches and nausea so often. Nausea induced panic, because I have a phobia of vomiting. I didn’t realize at the time that it was a cycle – being anxious would cause nausea; having nausea would cause anxiety. I saw a gastroenterologist, I changed my diet, I took Nexium, I stopped drinking alcohol and coffee, I kept Pepto Bismol with me at all times. Mostly, I lived in a constant state of fear. I didn’t have any way of blowing off steam because I was too scared to drink or smoke pot.

I’m not sure when I realized how closely intertwined the stomach problems were with the anxiety. I think it was when I drove back from a wedding in North Carolina over the summer and felt my blood vessels constrict as I emerged from the Holland Tunnel into the stark reality of the city. This happens every time I return to the city, but it doesn’t feel so present once I’ve been here for awhile. It’s like the frog in the boiling water or whatever.

It’s not just the city, either. I mean, I’m a millennial two years out of college working at a monotonous job, full of existential dread and rage over being cat-called and leered at all the goddamn time, trying to figure out what the fuck I want to do with my life. Also Donald fucking Trump is going to be our next president. I have to give myself a damn break sometimes!

Is this all TMI as fuck? It’s just become so clear to me over the past few months that everyone is terrified of talking about their own experiences of this shit for fear of everyone thinking they’re a freak. Well, fortunately everyone already knows I’m a freak. So hopefully somebody is reading this and is like “Whoa this bitch is just as psycho as I am! Hell yeah!”

Anyhow, the main takeaway here is that now I can eat ice cream without having a panic attack, and that’s all anyone really wants, right?

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Tuesday af

Today was an eat my feelings sort of day. I almost decided to take a “mental health day,” something I have never done because of Jewish guilt, but ended up deciding against it: a choice I regretted when I got to the train for the first time and realized I had to go back for my wallet, and regretted again when I got to the train for the second time and realized some of my less essential cards (student ID, old insurance card, multiple punch cards with only one stamp) had fallen out of my wallet at some point between my bedroom and the train. Were these cards integral enough to my being to retrace my steps? Was it possible that they had just fallen out in my room and I would be making a second trip back to my apartment, unnecessarily? These are all questions one should not have to ask one’s self when one is already late to work and depending on a train that only comes five times an hour on a good day. I ended up going with the more hopeful, and more impotent, option of getting on the train and hoping for the best. But since I was already feeling sensitive, I figured I might as well lean into it and listen to Michigan by Sufjan Stevens while gazing ruefully at the floor of the train.

I expected the eating-my-feelings situation to be more of a “crushed by the inequalities of the patriarchy and my part in it, both as oppressor and oppressed” kind of day and it ended up being more of a “splashed by a puddle projectile vomited from the road by an oncoming car in a comically stereotypical way” kind of day. That is to say, it was more of an “eat an extra cookie ’cause I deserve it” sort of day than an “eat a gallon of ice cream using a sugar wafer as a spoon” sort of day.

Isn’t it a pleasant surprise to be less nihilistic and existential than you expect yourself to be? It’s like finding a twenty dollar bill in your pocket, and also finding yourself able to disregard the destructive and illusory nature of capitalism at the same time.

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By the way, friends, on my way back from the train I found the cards that fell out of my wallet strewn across the wet sidewalk. Well, I found our therapist’s business card, a punch card from a salon I went to once, and my friend’s band’s sticker. All the cards that were actually worth something were gone, unsurprisingly. Some asshole is going to be getting into museums at a discount with my student ID. Fuckers.

Times Square

I cannot goddamn believe this, but by the end of this weekend I will have been in Times Square e.v.e.r.y. d.a.y. of the week except Monday. I have two concerts this weekend, one in which I’m singing (if you call Beethoven’s Ninth singing – I call it yelling) and one in which I’m feeding rich people hors d’oeuvres. Y’all know I just looked up “hors d’oeuvres” to find out how to spell it and was filled with rage at the realization that the “r” comes after the “v.” This is like when people pronounce “chipotle” with the “l” before the “t” or when people say “marscapony.” If everyone just watched The Great British Bakeoff, this wouldn’t be happening. Also, we’d have world peace because that shit is like audiovisual Xanax.

Anyway, back to complaining. According to Wikipedia, Times Square is adorned with the nickname “the Center of the Universe,” which would make sense were these other places not also given the same nickname:

  • High Falls, New York (a place that doesn’t even have its own Wikipedia page)
  • Epping, New Hampshire, a town that is 97.08% white
  • Toronto (OK, y’all can have that one, Canada)
  • Ashland, Virginia (Their former mayor declared that this was the actual, cosmological center of the universe)
  • Magnolia, Delaware, a town with 226 people
  • Wallace, Idaho (another town declared to be the center of the universe by the mayor, who actually fucking said “Wallace MUST be the Center of the Universe because you can’t PROVE otherwise.”)
  • “Bushkill, PA a small town adjacent to parcels of abandoned property for a proposed dam on the Delaware River that was never built.” -actual Wikipedia description

Ok, that’s enough of that. Ego is fascinating, isn’t it? Luckily, I live in New York City, a place that mercilessly beats the shit out of your ego with seemingly no end. See exhibit A:

 

What to say? What to fucking say.

In typical New York fashion, everyone swept along as if nothing had happened. We all laughed when no one here gave a shit about the bomb, but now I feel resentful of New York’s reticence. When I so desperately cast about on the train for another despairing gaze to mirror my own, I saw only facades of indifference.

I had a comedy podcast on but realized I couldn’t bear to hear laughter from the audience, whose recorded merriment was free of the knowledge that I now hold within my bones: our country has elected a rapist to be president. We value racists over women. After months of watching our own stories acted out in caricature on television – a blustering, entitled bigot spews lies over the calculated, educated truths of an overly qualified woman – we meditated on the presumed fact that all would be redeemed in the end when she won.

And she fucking didn’t win. She didn’t fucking win. It hurts. It hurts. It hurts.

Last night when it was clear he would win, I went to sleep. I don’t know how. I think my mind was somewhere else, taken away by my new medication that makes sleep inevitable. I didn’t have an overt reaction until I was on the train. I spent a significant amount of time staring at nothing all morning, until I realized I was just staring into the face of the future and broke down.

I turned off my podcast and turned on A Seat at the Table. I bathed in a pool of fear, anger, despair, and love. Anger for the violence of the oppressed body and love for the varied yet collective beauty of the oppressed mind. I thank whatever is out there that I have A Seat at the Table, I have Moonlight, I have Lemonade, I have To Pimp a Butterfly. I have Carol, I have Jane the Virgin, I have Brokeback Mountain, I have Atlanta. Many of these artworks are and were not made for me, but they give me the chance to peek behind the curtain from a distance I am so privileged to have.

For the first time, I cried on the train. Even with all the fucked up shit that has happened to me in New York, even with the crippling anxiety I have been harboring for months and years, this is the first time I have cried on the train. I cried on the walk from the train. I cried at my desk. I text my friends and family, and I know some are too devastated to pick up their phones and respond.

It hurts.

Fabio & Me

Did y’all know that one time Fabio rode a roller coaster and got hit in the face by a goose?

Sometimes I feel just like Fabio on that fateful day. I’ve come to the understanding that my life is roller-coaster-esque – I celebrate the ups with as much zeal as possible while bracing myself for the lows with a firm grip – and then a fucking goose hits me in the face. I didn’t factor in the goose when my ass first trembled in the roller coaster’s cold, plastic seat. I didn’t factor in the goose when the pock-faced boy in the throes of awkward adolescence pressed the protective bar a little too snugly into my fat rolls. And I certainly didn’t factor in the goose when my goddamned nose was smashed by a goddamned goose.

By the way, here is the entry in Wikipedia for this momentous occasion:
“On March 30, 1999, a goose hit Fabio and died when he was on a roller coaster at Busch Gardens Williamsburg, located in James County, Virginia. Fabio rode in the first car of Apollo’s Chariot, a roller coaster, during its inaugural ride. During the rapid descent on the 210-foot drop after the lift hill, a goose collided with Fabio, leaving his nose covered in blood. Fabio received a one-inch cut but no one else on the roller coaster was hurt. He was later treated at a local hospital for the cut. That same year, he started his website.”

The world is so full of magic.

I guess all I need to do this year in order to merit a Wikipedia entry is start my website – I think I can do that.